Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dealing with Difficult Behavior

Fun in First

I am super excited to join the Linky Party that is going on over at Fun in First!  I have a particularly difficult group of kiddos this year, so I have been spending the last month researching and reading tips and tricks to work with them.  (I work at a year-round school, so I had my kids for a month, but then we had a month break... in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, here are some things that I already do OR I might try doing when our school goes back in session:

1 - Behavior Chart:  The majority of primary teachers out there have a behavior chart.  Ours has a pirate-theme.  The kids start on the pirate ship every morning.  If their behavior is less-than-desirable, they start "walking the plank" to "Warning."  Next comes "Time Out" and finally there is "No Recess and Parent Contact."  For the extreme behavior that I just need a break from on those rare occassions, the child goes to our Buddy Room.



If the students do not have to "walk the plank," they receive a treasure at the end of the day.  These treasures are simply colored wooden craft shapes glued to popsicle sticks.  Once the child has earned 5 treasures, he/she is allowed to select a prize from the treasure chest.  Oh what fun!





By the way, if you are interested in having a pirate ship behavior chart of your own, let me know.  I can easily find it on my flashdrive and post it on my TPT Store... no charge of course.  :)

2 - Musical Box:  I read about this idea in one of my grad classes and at the time, it seemed like a "good idea to remember for one day."  Well... that "one day" has arrived because I have a group of TALKERS this year!  So if your kiddos are super talkative, you can simply walk over to your musical box and lift the lid.  The music is a cue to them to be quiet and that it is not a good time for free talk.  Once they are quiet, you can shut the lid.  If the children have music left on their musical box at the end of the week, you can give them a prize.  Think of something that will motivate them:  5 extra minutes of recess, a popcorn party, whatever they like!
 


(This is my little "Wizard of Oz" music box.)

 

3 - Sponge Activities:  Be sure the kids always have something to do and they know what their options are.  In my classroom, we call these "sponge activities" because they are educational learning activities or fine-motor activities that "sponge" up the time, when students finish faster than the rest of the class.  Some examples include listening to a story on tape, listening to educational songs on CD, building blocks, linking logs, read to a stuffed animal, read to a puppet, sewing, step-by-step drawing, puzzles, etc.  The picture below shows some of our sponge activities.




The students usually remember what their choices are, but we have a choice board anyway.  When you introduce each activity, be sure to take a photo of a child modeling the activity, then stick the picture on a memo board.


 
4 - Fidgets:  This is a Cindy Middendorf idea.  I love her, by the way!  You can read more about this awesome lady on my blog.  Anyway, fidgets are small objects that you give the students when they are antsy or fidgeting.  I read about this idea last year, but never felt a need for it... until this year.  I have a kiddo who just cannot seem to keep his hands off of things, including the children around him.  I am hoping this strategy works!  A set a box of fidgets near our carpet area that include pieces of soft fabric, squishy balls from The Dollar Tree, tension balls, objects that can be twisted, etc.

5 - Swimming Rings:  I have two students in my classroom this year who just... cannot... stay... seated.  I know it is early in the year, but I do not have a good feeling about the way things are going now.  If my kiddos want to stand while at their desks, I have no problem with that.  However, it becomes a problem when we are on the carpet, especially when they are bothering other children.  What to do?  What to do!?  I recently read that partly inflated swimming rings help children stay seated.  I love this idea because they are reasonably inexpensive AND they kids can take them to their chairs as well as their carpet seats.  I have to get my hands on a few of these!


Okay, after I posted about these swimming rings, I went on a serious hunt for them.  The Dollar Tree?  Nope.  Merchandise Outlet?  Nope.  Nelson's Store?  Score!  I found them for only $1.29 a piece.  Crazy that I found the exact one I was looking for, huh!?



Hmmm... I guess I should stop at 5 ideas before I lose your attention.  (Isn't that the rule with Kindergarten students anyway??)  I hope you can use some of these ideas in your own classroom! Thanks for stopping by!


9 comments:

  1. I LOVE YOUR IDEAS!
    I AM ALSO CONSTANTLY IN SEARCH OF NEW IDEAS AND TRUE THAT THERE IS NOT A PERFECT CLASSROOM,YOU CANNOT EXPECT 35 OR MORE STUDENTS ( IN MY CASE)BE GOOD LISTENERS AND SIT QUIET AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS EASILY.HOWEVER,WITH A FEW YEARS OF EXPERIENCE i FOUND OUT THAT PROCEDURES AND HABITS DO WONDERS SO WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO YOU SHOULD STICK TO IT AND THEY WILL TAKE IT AS GRANTED SOON AND IF EVER YOU FORGET SMTH THEY WILL REMIND YOU!

    GOOD LUCK,

    Enjoy Teaching English
    http://lusine13.blogspot.com

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  2. Love your ideas. I remember hearing about the Music Box idea before, but have never tried it. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention.

    Jodi
    fun-in-first.blogspot.com

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  3. Thanks for your awesome ideas! I am definitely in need of fidgets and swimming rings for my little first rgaders this year! And I was trying to figure out how to make my ship work for my behavior plan, and yours gave me a great visual for inspiration! ~Angel

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  4. I really want to do a pirate themed classroom next year and I loved your walk the plank behavior management! Is there any way I can receive more information about this?
    Thanks,
    Abby

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  5. Hi Abby! I posted the Pirate Ship Behavior Chart at my Teachers Pay Teachers store for free. :) Click on the link below to visit my store and get your own copy.

    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pirate-Ship-Behavior-Chart

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  6. Hi Abby,
    I am planning on using your Walk the Plank behavior chart next year. Where do you have the students store their treasures?

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  7. Hi there KTeacher,

    Great question! (And, boy, do I wish I had a photo of this one.) I basically have some styrofoam posterboard hanging on a wall. Attached to the posterboard are some library book pockets - you know, those paper-made pockets you find in the back of a library book. I found some cute ones at the Dollar Tree once. Anyway, each pocket has a child's name written on them and that is where they store their treasures. I hope that makes sense! If not, let me know and I can take a picture of them the next time I am in my classroom.

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  8. I am interested in hearing how the swimming rings worked out and how you use them. I have one little guy who just cannot keep hands and feet to himself or stay put.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my little 'ole blog. :) The swimming rings worked AWESOME!! I was afraid the Kinders would be distracted by them, but the novelty wore off quickly and they became a helpful tool for my fidgety kiddos. Of course, I got the question, "Why does so-in-so get one, but I don't?" I just explained that some of our friends need a little extra reminder that it is important to sit nicely on the carpet so everyone can learn. After that, there was a common understanding. Whenever I noticed a child who was extra antsy, I would just walk over to them (without even having to say anything) and hand them a ring and they knew what to do (sit on it and sit nicely). However, there was one little problem...the swimming rings did not last long! The quality was not the greatest and they leaked air. Eventually, I tossed them! :( So I suggest investing in some better quality swimming rings. Good luck to you!

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